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Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 19, 1908

Maligne Lake Sunday, July 19 Hot, clear day. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Max. thermom[eter] 67 in shade, 96 in sun. M. and I spent most of the time loafing under the pine trees back of our tents. Mr. B. went botanizing up on the green slopes where the goats played abuot. At 7 P.M. when were just going to supper, Muggins was suddenly heard barking in the distance. We had been rather expecting him to desert the choppng party and come back to camp, so were not much surprised, but were very much so when his master appeared with him. The general looked very tired and came stumbling into camp. The professor followed shortly and they were a weary and grimy pair. They had not taken enough grub to last out, had been so hungry the first night that they ate a whole bannock, and only had two of them. There were two grouse beautifully stuffed and roasted which were to have gone to them next day, but when a piece of bird was offered to the general, he said scornfully, "no, give me bacon -- I wa…

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 17, 1908

Kichkassan Camp Friday, July 17 W. brought the horses in before breakfast and afterwards they did the great act of driving them across the river. They did not want to go at all, U. took Nibs down ahead to give them a lead, but W. could not induce the bunch to follow him down the steep bank to the water's edge, and when he undertakes to drive horses, there is something doing, too. So they both got after them, letting them start in at an easier approach a little lower down. Fox was the first one to make up his mind he had to go, and he led the bunch in gallantly, and they all piled along after him. I was so busy taking pictures then that I had no time to watch how they were getting along. Had four cameras lined up and took pictures with all of them, 7 sheets in all. I noticed the twins swimming together in the rear. Did not see at all where or how Bugler made it. U. was riding Nibs, and W. Dandy, so they went along after the rest. W. said they all swam very low, showing what a curre…

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 18, 1908

Maligne Lake Saturday, July 18 W. and U. off after breakfast, only taking grub and axes. H. is to take them fresh supplies day after tomorrow. A hot day. Nobody active except the bugs. Northern lights about 10:30. Goat gone.

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 16, 1908

Kichkassan Camp Thursday, July 16 Showers. W. and M. went off to explore this side of the outlet and see if it would be possible to get down or if there was possibly a trail; and U. was ferried over to the do likewise on the other side. I spent the A.M. watching the goat still playing about, four of them, the kid was doing some great skipping and gambolling. Also did some repair work on the mosquito curtains, sewing them fast to the tent on one side, with Mr. B.'s help, for it takes two for that kind of sewing, stabbing the needle back and forth at each other. W. and M. found nothing in the line of trail, and burnt timber too choked up to cut one. (They found a place where there had been a white man's camp, miner's tent.) They stodged through about 10 miles of it and were dirty and tired when they got in. U. came back just at supper time, we heard him jodel for the ferry and thought it was supper being announced. He had walked and run and clmbed about 25 miles, got within …

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 15, 1908

Chaba Camp July 15 Showers A.M. A move of only 2¾ hrs. took us to the outlet. This side of the lake for about half a mile up has been burnt, as well as the whole valley below, as far as anyone has seen. We camped just at the the corner by the outlet. A fine view up the lake. The outlet looked deep but perfectly smooth water and not too rapid. We cast our eyes on it and I said I hoped we should swim just for the fun of doing it, --- but soon changed my opinion! Providentially, as it seemed afterward, I, in the process of scanning the mountains opposite with field glasses for geological phenomena, discovered goat, two big ones and a kid, and presently four more hove in sight, two kids and two big ones. U. was of course filled with ambition to go after them and get one of the kids (we know how tough the old ones are and don't long for them any more). All four men sat down in a row for some time, leaving their work and everything, and passed around the field glasses. We laughed to see…

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 14, 1908

Chaba Camp Tuesday, July 14 Rain and warm. Mosquitoes gave us no let-up during the night. I did my usual stint of sleeping fairly well in spite of them, while most of the others got practically no sleep. I heard them around my bug net every time I woke, bellowing and rearing, and occasionally one got in a nip through it, or crawled under. M. got so wild that at about 5 A.M. she arose in her wrath, took a towel and flapped them mostly out of the tent and shut the door, which made a slight lull in their concert. After breakfast W. and U. went off to cut out the trail if necessary, and M. and I went to work with our supply of mosquito netting and made curtains for the front of each tent, which occupied us till well on late into the afternoon. W. and U. came back not much pleased with conditions at the outlet. The Indians camp on the other side of it, so if there is any trail down the Maligne River, it is probably there. They found none on this side, and no ford so we were told we now had…

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 13, 1908

Chaba Camp Monday, July 13 A day off after the strenuous labor of the last three days. Rather warm and sultry, growing more cloudy. Mosquitoes thick. Rain in evening. W. and U. did some prospecting for trail around to the foot of the lake, at intervals during the day. Found a very old one.

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 12, 1908

Camp Unwin Sunday, July 12 Another fine day. Very little wind, perfect reflections almost all the time. The actual rowing time back to Chaba Camp was only 4¾ hrs. At only one place have we seen a sign of anyone having been up the lake before, and that was about half way between Camps Chaba and Unwin on the south shore. A tree was blazed conspicuously and near by a charred log, the remains of a camp fire. It may have been a trapper, timber cruiser or prospector; Indian or white man; and probably he was there in the winter on snowshoes. We all agree that Maligne Lake is one of the finest things in the Rockies or Selkirks. The upper half is right in the high mountains, the lower more open and gentle looking. It will probably be a great resort some day when the Grand Trunk is done. We arrived at the Chaba Camp landing at about 2:30. W. and U. went off to find the horses and bring some down; N. started to walk up; Mr. B., H. and I dismantled H.M.S. Chaba. She was built without a nail or sp…

Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, July 11, 1908

Unwin Camp Saturday, July 11 The double, snowy mt. not in sight from camp --- hidden by a thin slab of a low peak. “Mt. Unwin” just opposite across the lake (U. was on a shoulder of it July7) also double peaked and snowy, and a fine glacier coming low down toward the lake. There was considerable doubt as how to conduct the campaign today --- whether to move camp or not, and what mountain M. wanted to climb to get a look at the Brazeau ice field and try to locate Mt. Brazeau with regard to this lake. It was finally decided that the end of the lake not being far off, we might as well just take lunch with us and row up there, and then the climbers could attack whatever seemed the handiest. So we got off at 8:30. After about an hour we were about to round the last point and cast anchor at the foot of the long valley we could see leading up into the mountains, when beheld beyond the point jutting out from the n.e. shore was another from the s.w. shore, and beyond that the lake opened out a…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 10, 1908

Chaba Camp
July 10

We had all the horses with us at breakfast, as W. gave them salt to make it more attractive to them to stay here while we are away. Two tents, beds and grub went with us and we reached the lake and had the cargo aboard by 10:30. M. and I were ignominiously picked up and dumped on too, as H.M.S. "Chaba" drew too much water to be brought quite up to shore, or even near enough for a long jump. W. took the horses back to put them with the others --- and we started on the voyage, to pick him up at the mouth of the river, where he would come by a short cut not practicable for horses. They had hewed out two long oars about 12 ft. long, and one sat on the edge of the forward deck, and one aft, to row, with a wooden pin stuck up to pull against for a rowlock. The decks were about 2½ ft. wide and stuck out over the sides a little so they were about 7 ft. long. The bottom logs were about 2 inches under water when all of us and all the impediments were stowed away o…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 9, 1908

Chaba Imne
Thursday, July 9

The three boys spent the day building the raft, up to their knees or deeper in cold water. They had quite a time finding enough dead trees, had to bring some quite a distance, towing them along the shore. H.M.S. "Chaba" was finished about 6 P.M., and ready for the voyage tomorrow.

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 8, 1908

Eureka Camp
Wednesday, July 8

The first sound this morning was W. shouting All aboard for the lake!” He got on his fourteen foot smile when he found that all was well and we were on the right road, and he and U. have a chance of looking respectable again. They announced a few days ago that they would not shave till we found the lake ---- and have not. We were off at 9:30 and in about 3 hrs. were at the lake, but on the wrong side of the creek we have been travelling down for the last three days – no feed or good camp ground there, and the stream too deep to ford. So as it did not seem worth while to get everything wet, W. and U. went off prospecting and we waited there a long time. Found a place where beavers had been very busy in days gone by (the Stony Indians call the Lake Chaba Imne, which means Beaver Lake).  Finally U. came back and said they had found a ford about half a mile back, so right about face and back on our tracks. We did not come by the trail most of the way it was…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 7, 1908

1st Maligne Camp
Tuesday, July 7

Rain in the night. Bar[ometer] down a little. Cloudy morning. A good deal of bright sunshine and a few showers during the day. Moved down the valley 7 or 8 miles, 3½ hrs. drive, and camped at 5859 ft. among thick spruce trees just around the bend in the creek, where we had expected to find the end of the range of mts., and be able to see whether the lake lay behind it or not. A second range appeared, however, going on down. After lunch, U started out climbing to find the lake or bust, and with compass, aneroid, maps, camera and field glasses, so that nothing should escape him. He left camp about 3 P.M. and returned at 10:45, having, as he said, "kept hopping" all the time. He climbed about 2500 ft., then up again on what seemed to be a shoulder of Mt.  __________ to 8750 ft. --- saw the lake! Went down right to it, 5600 ft., and around and home again over the lower wooded shoulders. So it is discovered at at last. Sampson shortened up the d…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 6, 1908

Independence Camp
Monday, July 6

Off at 9 A.M. and camped at 1 P.M., a few miles down over Maligne Pass, at 6300 ft. The pass was 7300. Weather mostly dull cloudy, with a few spots of sunshine, and a few of rain. A good deal of snow to go through, about as much as Pobokton Pass. Not very steep either going up or down, and quite pleasing views. A little pond still quite covered with ice, at the summit, draining to the south. None of the pack horses got stranded in the snow as was expected, and only one in the mud -- Biddy, who slipped off a sloping rock and skinned himself rather badly. M. and I took our usual walk after lunch, she going a great deal higher than I. Nothing of any great interest in the scientific line. This is a very pretty valley, green meadows all down the middle, forests of Engelmann spruce leading up to the rock and snow above. Mts. not very high, but at this season lots of snow on the ones at the head and foot of the valley. Everyone but me to bed at 9 P.M. I hun…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 5, 1908

Independence Camp
Sunday, July 5.

Barometer going up and clearing during day. Some rain in A.M. but lovely P.M. 5800 ft. at 6 P.M.

Laid over as they did not wake up till 7 A.M. and found horses, all except Ricks and Nibs, had gone way down to the river and by the time they got them back it would make a very late start for an unknown and probably long drive. So W. and U. took those two and started off to investigate. They went over the snowy pass we could see from 4th of July Camp and down on to a biggish creek the other side -- no lake visible -- and they got back around 5 P.M. somewhat disgruntled with the mythical lake, that we have worked so hard to see, both last year and this and almost inclined to doubt its existence. We had a great chew the rack over maps, and as they seem convinced that it is the only way to go, I suppose the outfit will be moved over tomorrow and further explanations made.

M. and I went for a little walk up toward the top where she was joined by H., and I…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 4, 1908

4th of July Camp.
Saturday, July 4


A cold night. Thermometer 30° at 7:00 A.M. While at breakfast a beastly snowstorm began, and continueviolently for about 2 hrs., making the packing painful and slow. W. and U. had to come and warm their numb hands between every few horses, and 15 are a good many to pack under those conditions. Got off at 10:45. It was a hard road to travel, all through burnt timber, and W. did an awful amount of chopping. It dropped down off the terrace as we left camp. It passed the valley W. went up yesterday and sure enough at the next creek was another teepee camp and one trail going on down to the Sunwapta, and another hitting up into the side valley. Which last we proceeded to follow. It went up over a high shoulder, but unfortunately there was such a blizzard raging at the moment that we could only see the tall burnt timber and young jack pines around us, and the family riding solemnly along, hunching slickers and ponchos close around their necks with their …

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 3, 1908

Poboktan Camp
Friday, July 3

Moved on down the valley. The trail kept near the creek the first part of the way, then after passing a large teepee camp, it went up a very steep hill to the top of a terrace which is quite prominent in a good many places on both sides of the valley. We travelled along the terrace several miles, fairly good going, although the trail kept vanishing in the midst of windfalls, etc. We camped at 1:30 after four hours drive in some sloughy meadows and burnt timber with poor horse feed. An. 7050 ft. It stood 7100 ft. when we left Poboktan camp, the weather having gone back on us again. Rode in slicker suits today, N. with the additional ornament of a sou’wester, and it rained pretty steadily. A little sickly sunshine after lunch, and at 4 P.M. M. and I started out for a walk. We separated, M. going further and higher than I, but met again quite accidentally on the way home. Variations of hail and snow occasionally. W. and U. did their usual strenuous explorin…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 1, 1908

Wednesday, July 1

We started off ahead of the packs so we could have a chance to play about, take photos, etc. A good deal of snow in patches which we could not avoid going through. Bugler go so badly stuck several times that I had to roll off. Part of the way we went up the creek bed with high cut banks of snow on each side. Charlie did not like that part of the performance at all and we left Mr. B. quite far behind, before he could persuade him that it was the thing to do. We were such a long time backing and filling among the snowy gullies, botanizing, photoing etc., that we were still at the summit, where we had ridden up a good deal higher than necessary when we saw the pack train filing along past far below us. We hurried down and fell in at the rea. M. was ahead and almost caught U. in the act of talking to his twins. He had not seen us coming, and said he almost fell off his horse with fright when this apparition in black goggles and green bug-net came alongside and spoke to …

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies July 2, 1908

Poboktan Camp
Thursday, July 2

Laid over. Occasional heavy showers. W. and U. climbed a mountain to the east. W. only went far enough to get a look down the valley to the Sunwapta. U. from the top saw the Brazeau valley above the lake -- two (apparently, perhaps) practicable passes leading to the same point in it from this valley, one from the pass, and one from the north side of the mt. he was on. He could look over into Jonas Cr[eek] valley, and the only possible way from there over here seemed to be the one we were looking at yesterdatm which has a great snow cornice all along it now. He thought he saw Mt. Robson in the dim distance, (the map makes it 100 miles from here and did surely see Mt. Sask[atchewan]; Mt. Ath[abasca], the Dome or Douglas, teh Twins, 2 probably Columbia -- 2 perhaps Alberta.

M. and I went for a short botanical walk. Mr. B.'s rheumatism being still bad, he is trying a slight rest cure. We found some more of the unknown yellow flower first discovered at…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 30, 1908

Teepee Camp
Tuesday, June 30.

Off at 9 A.M. Travelled till 2 P.M. The trail was a little fierce, quick changes from burnt timber to rock climbing, muskeg, quicksands, scree slopes, and mud slides. Five or six of the pack horses were down and in trouble. An. gave 5800 for B[razeau] Lake. Coleman had it at 6200 on one map and 6300 on another. Camp 6550, well up toward the last timber. At 4 p.m. after lunch, everyone out to walk except the chef. Mr. B., although pretty lame, went with M. up a shoulder back of camp; W. and U. to prospect over the supposed pass for trail, and I ambling along in the lowlands on the lookout for any scientific specimens, botanical, geological or biological. Mr. B. has begun to pickle a few toads and such in whiskey, to add to the collection of birds and small mammals which at the present moment I believe number just two. All back for a delicious fried onion supper about 7:30, and to bed by 10.

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 29, 1908

Teepee Camp
Monday, June 29, 2011

Rain in the night and very slight showers during the day. We laid over as M. wanted to climb the green slopes to the n.e. W. and U. were up there yesterday P.M. and said she could get good pictures of Brazeau Lake. Everyone is almost always glad of an excuse to lay over, and if the feed is good, one can usually be found. Today it seemed especially fortunate that we decided to do so, as U. developed an attack of indigestion, had spent the night being seasick, and Mr. B. was discovered to be suffering with rheumatism in the knee. So what with my game heart, and game eye, and M. having somehow strained her ankle so that she almost thought she couldn’t climb, we were a fine set of invalids. She did climb, however, H. going with her part of the way. I could not keep away from the fossils and took my camera around to get some pictures for Dr. Graban. W. took Ricks and went off prospecting for the next camp. He found that we can go right to timber line tom…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 28, 1908

Mrs. N.’s Camp
Sunday, June 28

Rain in the night and clouds still low. We got off at 10:15 and traveled til 2 when we reached Teepee Camp. Some delays on account of pack horses getting into trouble. Ginger was packed today and H. rode Pinto. The blue horse has a sore back so W. took him and led him all the way except crossing the streams. Old Gingerbread has not a pleasant disposition anyway and did not relish much being a pack horse. W. says that when he bought him and brought him to Banff, everyone said, “You’ll never be able to anything with him. He’s one of Brewster’s bad horses that he sold to the Indians.” So he prepared for the worst, even thought perhaps he had better leave Ginger behind. But he has not done anything dreadful yet, in spite of his reputation and his evil looking face – kicks around and tries to pull down the tree he is tied to sometimes, but nothing really serious. Today Ginger and one of twins managed to get tangled up with the same stick caught under both t…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 27, 1908

Mrs. N.’s Camp
Saturday, June 27

An. [aneroid] still at 6700 ft. at 9 a.m.; up to 6500 ft. at 11 a.m. Thermom[eter] 36° at 11 A.M. Snowing hard early and ground covered. No-one up til 9.  Icicles hanging from tents and everything frozen, including boots. All took a gentle walk down to the river in P.M. We cut a tree to cross the creek from the pass. Slight snow or rain most of the 2 hrs. we were out. Barometer rising, 63.50 when we got back. Thermom[eter] 40°.

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 26, 1908

Mrs. Nicholl’s Camp
Friday, June 26

Rain. An. 6700 ft. W. and U. started off after late breakfast to prospect for a next camp ground somewhere over the high shoulder at Jonas Pass. We spent the day mostly in Mr. B.’s tent where the fire was. H. rigged up a perch of pack mantles to keep out the driving rain and snow, and we were comparatively comfortable and sympathetic for the poor things out in the mountains. They got in about 5 p.m. having had an awful time. Both said they had not been so cold all winter, soaked to the skin and wading in snow up to their waists, and a blizzard raging. They did not go to the top of Jonas Pass, but far enough to see it would be impossible to take the horses that way. 3 ft. of snow on a level, and drifted up to unknown depths right across toward the summit. So we shall have to go on down to Brazeau Lake and try one of those places we were looking at last year. The one halfway up the lake is the one, according to Coleman. It grew cold enough for the s…

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 25, 1908

Camp Parker
Thursday, June 25

An. 6450 ft. at 7:30 A.M.
6300 ft. at 8:30

Clearing after breakfast and a pleasant warm day. 4½ hours drive to Mrs. Nicholl’s camp. An. gave Nigel Pass 7400 feet. Mrs. N.’s camp 6400 ft. U. saw 5 sheep on the pass in P.M.  M. and I took a short walk, then M. started to skin a gopher they caught yesterday. I objected a little to the smell thereof, and suggested that next time she should skin specimens the same day they were caught. But I was quickly squelched and told that was the nature of the beast. U. finished up with the skinning and Mr. B. had his finger in the pie too. The rest of us did the heavy looking on, well to the windward, and I contributed naphtha soap at the finish. We had one of these very pretty but ominous red sunsets we knew so well last year.

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 24, 1908

Camp Parker, June 24.

Laid over today as the horses had a hard drive yesterday and the next one to Mrs. Nicholl’s camp on the Brazeau over the Nigel Pass, will be a long one. M., Mr. B., U. and H. took their lunch and went up the ridge U. and I were on last year, west of camp, aneroid 6,000 feet. U. ferried them over with pole. They got fossils for me, came back about 4:30, waded the creek all holding hands. The creek had risen a lot since morning and got thick and brown with mud. M. says they saw a big slide which probably sent it down. It was quite clear when I did my laundry at 11:30. Thunder shower in the evening.

Mollie Adams Diary of Her Journey in the Canadian Rockies June 23, 1908

Moss Camp, Tuesday, June 23

Aneroid makes the altitude here 4850 this A.M. Last night 5050. Clearer looking weather than for two weeks past, but clouds still low. At Mosquito Camp it varied from 4800 to 4900. 4 hrs. 40 minutes. Got off at 10:20 intending to camp at the foot of the big hill, but found so little feed there W. thought [it] best to go on up to Camp Parker. The aneroid made the hill 1000 ft. 5800 at the top. It took 40 minutes to go up. I rode Pinto up the hill, much to Muggin’s surprise. He evidently thought I had not business to get on his master’s horse. There have been an unusual number of snow slides here this spring. An enormous one just before reaching camp from the east side of the valley must have come down while the snow lay so deep that most of the small trees and bushes were not disturbed, but it uprooted trees 18 inches in diameter and carried them long distances, ran across the creek and knocked down large trees 100 yds. up the other slope. A great mass of s…